Email marketing allows businesses of all sizes to reach their audience and potential customers with the push of a button. With a few simple steps, you can have a business letter, sales letter, or even an entire catalog of products dropped in your inbox for you to review and respond to. As an email marketer, you’ll probably find that many companies don’t know how to use the tool effectively and efficiently. That’s why you’re still reading this. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Gosh, this sounds like a pain in the ass. I’m not going to do it. No one ever listens to my emails anyway, so what’s the point?” We’re not going to sugarcoat things for you. Some companies will try to trick you into thinking that email marketing is a simple task that can be done with little to no knowledge of programming. However, that’s not the case at all. If you follow our guide, you’ll be well on your way to successfully using email marketing to grow your business.
Set Up Your Email Marketing Strategy
Setting up an email marketing campaign can be challenging, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. In order to set up a successful campaign, you need to take the time to develop a plan and research the best way to go about it. One of the first things you’ll want to do is sit down with your marketing department and figureheads from both sales and operations and work out a game plan. Ask them what goals you’re trying to achieve and how you plan to go about achieving them. The key to a successful campaign is to have a clear goal in mind and create a step-by-step plan to get there. A few key questions to ask include:
- What do I want to achieve with my email marketing campaign?
- How many people are actually reading my emails right now?
- How many people do I need to get in order to achieve my goal?
- What is the overall theme/style of my campaign?
- What tools do I need in order to get started?
Choose An Email List
Choosing an email list is one of the most important parts of an email marketing campaign. You’ll want to pick a list that is relevant to your target audience and has the potential to grow. The best email lists are free, have a high response rate, and are built manually by a human being. If you can find a list that matches those criteria, go for it. If not, you can build your own quality email list using a tool like MailBee (one of the best free email marketing tools available).
Once you’ve got your email list, you need to start segmenting it based on interests, behaviors, demographics, and geography. Once you’ve got those segments, you can determine the best way to reach your audience with the push of a button. At this point, you can start testing different combinations of messages and subject lines to find the ones that produce the most open rates and click-throughs. Open rates and click-throughs are metrics that indicate how effective your campaign was in terms of generating interest and driving leads into your store. They can vary widely, but generally measure the performance of your email marketing against several different variables. Some of the key questions you’ll want to ask include:
- What are my top and bottom performing messages?
- What is the overall bounce rate on my email list?
- What are my best converting messages?
- What are my least converting messages?
- What are the demographics of my top and bottom performing messages?
- Do certain groups of people tend to open my emails more than others?
- What do my analytics tell me about my audience’s interests?
- Are certain locations driving the most interest in my campaign?
Find Your Signature Sizzle
Having a unique selling point (USP) is absolutely vital if you want to stand out amongst your competitors. In sales, we sometimes refer to this as the’sizzle’ of the product or service. It’s the reason why people typically buy one product over another even though they’re ostensibly the same. The key to creating a successful USP is to find something that is both distinctive and useful. In the case of email marketing, your signature sizzle can be anything from a special promotion to a regularly scheduled offering. Once you’ve got your signature sizzle, you can use it in all your marketing material, including email campaigns. As a general rule of thumb, make sure that your USP is relevant and tied to the experience of your audience. It needs to be something new that people want and need because they can’t get it elsewhere. This way, your USP will be valuable in driving sales and attracting new subscribers to your list. To find your signature sizzle, simply ask yourself, “What is the one thing that sets my product/service apart from everything else?” Once you’ve got that, you can begin weaving it into your marketing material. The best part about having a unique selling point is that you can use it as a building block for other marketing material. For example, you can take your unique selling point and use it to create a compelling sales pitch for a specific proposal or offer.
Get The Basics Right
In the early stages of an email marketing campaign, you’ll probably want to focus on getting the basics right. This means doing everything from having a strong, unique opening to using the right font and language to appeal to your audience. While you’re at it, you can even design your emails to match the look and feel of your website. Getting the basics right can help you avoid any confusion or skepticism and ensure the maximum potential for your campaign. Some of the things you’ll want to focus on include:
- Logo (logo’s are powerful. The right one can do wonders for your campaign.)
- Typeface (Arial, Helvetica, etc…choose a typeface that is clear and easy to read.)
- Colors (Keeping things simple is vital when designing your emails. You don’t want to go overboard with the colors and end up confusing your audience.)
- Headers (Allowing your reader to find information quickly is vital. You can use a tool like Hootsuite to create headers for your tweets, pins, and other social media posts.)
- Buttons (Just because something is easy to use doesn’t mean it’s not worth including. Make sure you include the appropriate buttons for the action you’re trying to encourage.)
- Footer (A footer is like the header on a page. If you have one, make sure it’s not too flashy or distracting. Keep it simple and classy.)
Make Your Audience A Part Of The Process
Your audience is one of the most important aspects of your email marketing campaign. This group of people will dictate which offers and promotions you’re going to be able to promote as well as how effectively you’ll be able to do it. It’s vital that you get this part right. The key is to make your audience feel like they’re a part of the process even though they may not be directly involved. This way, you’ll be able to engage with them on a more personal level and gain their trust and interest. Some of the tactics you can use to make your audience a part of the process include: